MARK 13:37: “And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake.”
OBSERVATION: How should we live our lives in light of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ? As we look at all the events unfolding before us we see the signs of the end increasing as Jesus said they would – like birth pangs. Following His teaching on the events surrounding the end times Jesus leaves His disciples, and us, with this simple charge – “Stay awake”!
These two words are so simple and yet so profound. How do we “Stay awake”? What does this practically mean? Do we gather on a mountaintop each day looking heavenward waiting for His return? Do we ignore the signs and simply go on living as if nothing is really going to happen? Do we draw inward in our churches and hide from all that is happening in the world around us? How do we “Stay awake”?
This example may seem a bit trite, but it came to me as I was reading this verse. When I was a boy, like most boys – I read comic books. There were always some great ads in the middle and at the end that promised great prizes if you simply sent in a small amount of money and usually some proof of purchase. One such deal was for a set of army toy soldiers. I scraped the money together and sent it in along with the proof of purchase. The ad on the page promised me that they would come in the mail – Soon!
You guessed it…every day I would run to the mailbox to see if they had arrived. When they did not arrive, I put my sights on the next day. I did this each and every day. However, in the course of all of this I still had to go to school, do my chores, and of course – read my comic books :). Everything kept moving forward as normal, but each day was heightened with the expectation that my prize would come in the mail. I did this for several weeks – until the day they finally came!
I believe this is what it means to “Stay awake.” It means that we stay focused with expectation on the promise of His return while we continue to live out our lives. It is the expectation of His return and the promise of the Kingdom of God that motivates us through the difficult times of life and the growing uncertainty in our world. We continue to live as if we will be here a 1000 years, but in our hearts we know that the trumpet call will sound at any time! The promise of His Second Coming puts everything in perspective and keeps us walking in obedience and faith.
Lord, help me to walk in both expectancy and obedience. Keep my heart from discouragement when I see all that is taking place in the world around me. Instead, help me to lift up my head in anticipation knowing that my redemption is drawing nigh. There may not be anything in the mailbox today – but there might be tomorrow. You will fulfill Your Word and Promises! Help me to “Stay awake”. In Jesus Name!